Real-Life Locations from 'Big Little Lies' You Can Visit in Monterey, California

Explore the locations seen on the HBO drama — plus the cast's favorite hangouts in this gorgeous town by the sea

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The Real Locations of Big Little Lies

big little lies
Jennifer Clasen/HBO

The cast of Big Little Lies is loaded with A-listers, but the HBO series has also made a star out of its setting: picture-perfect Monterey, Calif.

The coastal city — about two hours south of San Francisco — has seen its profile boosted by the award-winning drama, and the sleepy sites in the county have turned into tourist destinations.

Here are just a few of the real spots from the show you can visit — and some of the cast's favorite local hangouts.

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Bixby Bridge


The stunning arch bridge featured in the show's opening credits is actually located in Big Sur, 18 miles south of Monterey. Big Little Lies location manager Gregory Alpert suggests pulling off the highway just north of the bridge for the best photo op.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium

monterey aquarium

Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) gets a job here in season 2. It's regularly named one of the world's best aquariums for its Open Sea exhibit, kelp forest and resident "jellies." The aquarium also features heavily in the animated film Finding Dory.

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Lover's Point Park

monterey california
Nicole Kidman/Instagram

The set for season 2's Blissful Drip coffee shop was created on the scenic beach at this park in Pacific Grove, two miles from Monterey. While the structure has been dismantled, the beach is still worth a visit, as Nicole Kidman, who plays Celeste Wright, proves.

"Fun in Monterey and thank you to everyone for being so warm and welcoming to us all again (including the gulls)," she captioned an Instagram snapped at the spot.

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Paluca Trattoria

Paluca Trattoria

The show's Blue Blues cafe set from season 1 was modeled after this popular eatery on Fisherman's Wharf. The showrunners recreated the outdoor seating area on a soundstage in Hollywood, then layered in the real view from this scenic spot using a green screen, Alpert reveals.

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Monterey Lanes

big little lies
Reese Witherspoon/Instagram

Reese Witherspoon, who produced and starred in the series as Madeline Martha Mackenzie, joked she'd found "the only thing Meryl Streep isn't good at" when the ladies bowled a few rounds at the lanes.

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Portola Hotel and Spa

Portola Hotel & Spa
Jacob Perl

Home to the cast and crew during filming, this Old Monterey establishment is steps away from Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. For those looking for luxe relaxation, the property's spa, Spa on the Plaza, is the largest day spa in Monterey County.

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Happy Girl Kitchen

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon/Instagram

Witherspoon dubbed this healthy cafe "the cutest place to eat in Monterey." Her go-to drink: the lavender lemonade.

Kidman visited seafood spot Passionfish in Pacific Grove, and Alpert was so taken with Restaurant 1833's (now closed) atmospheric outdoor space that it inspired the show's Side Door Cafe set.

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Point Lobos Natural Reserve

monterey california
Reese Witherspoon/Instagram

The rocky bit of coastline located in Carmel-by-the-Sea appears in some of the show's beach scenes. The sunset from this spot inspired Witherspoon to capture her own vista. "Monterey Nights," she wrote on an Instagram post.

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Pacific Grove Golf Links

pebble beach golf links
David Cannon/Getty

And to cap off your day the Little Lies way? Go for a round of golf like the cast did. Witherspoon practiced her swing at the famous Pebble Beach with Laura Dern (Renata Klein), but nearby Pacific Grove Golf Links is open to the public.

For more places to stay, eat and play in Monterey, visit

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